Community Living or Why Siblings are good for your spiritual growth

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I was an only child, and homeschooled to boot and believe me, my education was exceptional. My mom was a creative badass who believed that colonial williamsburg counted as history class and grocery shopping built math and kitchen skills. These things have served me well in life, not to mention a serious self-motivated drive. However, life, and my own choices are throwing me another curve ball called “getting along with other people”, and it is a tumultuous stage of growth, and more than a little embarrassing to be going through at good god am I actually closer to 30 than 20? When did that happen?!? Ah, let’s not think about that, anyway, the point is, I choose to pursue a path in life that led me smack dab in the center of the family/community I always wished I’d had and now I’m dealing with both sides of the consequences of that decision.
Dealing with 8 people’s opinions on laundry, basic hygiene, food preferences and don’t even mention the word dishes, is WAAAAAY more complicated than I could have ever previously imagined. I’m finally beginning to understand why people first started going to war. And we don’t even have the background of social expectation/tradition to help us along- it’s all trial and error. Thank goodness all of us are, generally, patient, committed and (thank whatever deity you recognize) pacifists.
But on a personal level, learning how to let go and not micro-manage, be open to new ways of doing things and generally learning to accept that there are people in the world who care about me even dealing with my crazy on a day to day basis (glitter, chocolate addiction, extreme emotional sensitivity which the glitter and chocolate help to medicate) has been a much-needed area of growth and balm to my isolated soul.
When it comes to my romantic relationship, I’ve been learning something else, something that is often said but hard to put into practice in the modern world- That you don’t have to be, and in fact shouldn’t be, everything to one person. Having this community has allowed me to start taking the perspective of, hey, maybe my romantic relationship can be just that- romantic. Since all of the stress of day to day life and major decisions, etc are generally shared amongst the whole community, not to mention hobbies and companionship, it’s much easier to just be romantic love, comfort and fun with my chosen lover. Don’t get me wrong, we still argue plenty, but I feel that I’m finally beginning understand what true day to day romance and connection are, both within an “intimate” relationship and on a wider social level as well.

Summer Bar-b-que

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As a perfect prelude to a miraculous few days the weather cleared up on monday, right as Pam and Brian’s daughter Tiffany- the remaining family we had not met- and her husband and kids came down to visit for a few days. Family friends showed up with their 3 month old and before we knew it, summer kicked in full swing with a massive outdoor barbeque with 12 adults, four kids, 9 chickens, I don’t even know how many cats anymore, and a dog just to make everything a little less chaotic. Paradise in a backyard.

I have witnessed a miracle of life in watching this progression of events- from chance meetings one after another that have lead to people connecting to build dreams I never imagined could truly happen before. We had an impromptu community meeting to discuss issues, ideas, concerns and set plans. And it happened automatically. I’ve always felt like dealing with people was frustrating, oftentimes, impossible. I feared that there were only selfish, uncaring people in the world, that I would wander alone forever. Without even realizing how much I wanted and needed a family, one ended up surrounding me, and it is openly growing everyday.

As I was toasting rolled oats in a frying pan this morning, cook the bacon first and toast in the gristle, Tiffany and I talked about the idea of combining forces on this, my blog and hers, so that between the two of us we could post more easily as I have many projects and she has many children. I add eggs and cream to the oats to cook it, and as we shredded cheese and chopped fresh fruit and avocado to top the oatmeal with we discuss book ideas. I love collaborations- all the beauty and creativity of a project, with the support and enhancement of loved ones. Kindred spirits are rare treasures. And with this new influence this page may be coming to you under a new name- The Nature Spirit. ( I have also been informed, repeatedly, that not everyone will think of the old english spelling of Faerie while looking this site up- simplicity has it’s usefulness I guess)

Zoe and I took Tiffany on her first Girls’ Night Out in, well, enough years she didn’t remember anymore. We arrived at Sonia’s house in town, proceeded to kick her boyfriend out of his own room( he was smart enough to bow out gracefully when girl number 6 showed up- a wise man knows when he’s out-numbered) and leave us to our sacred feminine goddess time. We turned up the music, danced wildly, laughed and talked to wake up the next few blocks and made almond-butter cherry chocolate chip cookies- Sonia’s recipe. She is now a contender in the ever ongoing cookie war for “greatest cookie ever”- a very scientific and technical title that can only be conferred after many years of tasting and debating. Consistency is key of course.

After a chance to let loose, hug, laugh, support and care for each other, we were all finally able to go back to our lover’s revitalized and strong. Apparently it had a major effect because I caught Aaron helping to hang laundry without me asking and even before running off to the shooting range. The effects of women coming together can be terrifying ;P

Tiffany had to return home this morning, but I am certain of seeing her again soon, and look forward to further adventures with a new part of my family.

Love to all!

xoxo

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Paint Fumes become Gypsy Vardo Part 2- Tada! PICTURES!!!

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Outside- a standard RV, all set up pretty in it’s newly cleared out camp space 😀

 

Julia Cameron Excerpt from: Walking in this World
“We are miserable not because we are neurotic but because we are creative and not functioning in our creativity. Therapy may help us to “understand” our blocks. We do better to just get over them. Art is therapeutic. It is NOT therapy. Therapy aims at transformation through understanding. Art aims at transformation directly. When we make a piece of art about something we don’t understand, we come to understand it, or, at least, our relationship to it through our own experience- which is more full-bodied than merely cerebral….healing is a somewhat automatic by-product of self-expression, not a goal per se…therapists urge us to “accept how we feel”. Art teaches us to EXPRESS how we feel and so alchemize it. …therapy adjusts us to the world. Art adjusts the world itself….At bottom, art is rebellious: You cannot name me. I am more than the sum of my parts.”

 

 

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It started off ENTIRELY grey- grey grey grey, with a bit of dirty blue grey on the ceiling and dirty yellow grey on the curtains. It was a depressing sight. A whole winter of grey, filled with outside grey, and did I mention it was just generally grey? So, with the onset of summer, and a super deep clean need growing in my bones, when Zoe said “Hey we could paint the RV” as I was walking past the box full of acrylics, I kind of exploded out a rainbow. We did the walls purple, green, and yellow, and filled in all the space with a rainbow texture covered in a marble texture of silver glitter and a super high gloss clear coat- the goal was to make it look like the walls were made of polished opal- and I think I succeeded as much as paint possibly can.

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Promise petting Harold in the finished RV

Since I was already doing mad colors, the idea of a chalkboard on the fridge was only fitting. We also found magnetic paint, but it was SO expensive, instead we put metal on the freezer front. It has been a big hit already.

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The wood stove, fully finished and installed, with our collection of garage sale cast iron

Learning to cook on this has been quite an adventure- and now I have strategically painted to hide all the ashy marks from maintaining it all winter, yay!

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The most interesting part of this was the transformative effect it had on me. For so long I’ve tried so hard to keep control of everything, to be productive, capable, focused, planned. But as I was fingerpainting rainbows on my wall I simply had to let loose, to let go, to just have fun on a level that I had not touched since I was a child. All of a sudden I was caught up in the flow of creation, of expression, of simply being and impressing the greatness of my being into the world I inhabit. For the first time in a long time I felt a radiant and expanded soul.

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I rebelled against the grey, the standard, the mundane. I rebelled against the fact that I was sharing a small space with another large personality. I rebelled against the feeling that I had to stay within the lines or the world would collapse. I found out what it meant to stop trying to understand and simply to DO, and the power of heavens that resides there. Things that should not have worked out did. Things that were impossible were done. I worked harder than I ever have on anything and I was joyful every moment of the day. And I did it for myself, no other, and everyone in the community has appreciated it and enjoyed it. I took paint and made it a home.

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It doesn’t matter what else is going on, just create.